U.S. Sports Academy
Authors: Billymo Rist1, Anthea C Clarke1, Tony Glynn2, Alan J. Pearce1
1 School of Allied Health, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
2 Fit Mind Consulting, Spencer Street, West Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
School of Allied Health, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
Ph: +61 400392964
Billymo Rist is a PhD Candidate at La Trobe University in Melbourne Australia. His Research interests include biomarkers, stress, psychology of performance and neuroscience of sport and injury
Anthea Clarke, PhD, is a lecturer in sport and exercise science in the Department of Dietetics, Human Nutrition, and Sport at La Trobe University, Australia. Her research interests include applied sport science and application to team sports, and female athlete physiology.
Tony Glynn MPsych is a Performance and Clinical Psychologist with 20 years’ experience. Tony is currently performance psychologist for the Melbourne Vixens Netball Team, Victorian Sailing Team, and Tennis Australia and clinical psychologist at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne.
Alan J Pearce PhD is an adjunct associate professor at La Trobe University, Melbourne Australia and Director of NeuroSports Labs, Melbourne. Alan has an interest in the neuroscience of exercise and sport and injury, with over 200 publications across neurophysiology, exercise physiology and psychology of exercise.
Stressors Associated with Professional Australian Rules Football Athletes Across a Competitive Season
Objective: This study explored psychophysiological stress in professional Australian Rules football athletes across the course of one competitive season.
Methods: A sample of eight players listed with one professional Australian football club participated in this study. Each week during the competitive season (22 weeks), players self-reported their general fatigue and sleep using a paper-based scale, as well as providing a salivary cortisol measure. Testing occurred 48-hours after competition. Participants’ weekly performance rating scores based on a points system metric of players’ data obtained during competitive matches were also recorded by the club each week.
Results: A significant inverse relationship was observed between cortisol and performance ratings, sleep and fatigue, and sleep and performance ratings. There was a significant predictive relationship observed, with cortisol levels and performance rankings (R2 = .35, F (6,74) = 7.06, p<.001). There was no significant relationship between performance and fatigue or performance and sleep.
Conclusions: This study shows a significant relationship between performance outcomes and psychophysiological stress in professional Australian football players. Professional clubs should look towards objective assessment protocols to measure athlete psychological stress to enhance current practice of self-report stress measures.